This particular blog is the closest I’ve got to explaining how my particular brain damage works. It’s not been an easy journey, but with the relevant help from Neurologists and new understanding over the 8 years I have been writing, I am getting there.
The frontal lobe section, known as the ‘emotional centre’ is the part of my brain that is extensively damaged. Generally, it is the place where our emotions are controlled and where our personalities are formed. This area also plays a role in controlling movement, judgments and behaviour, as well as social and sexual behaviour.
If this part of the brain becomes injured from birth or through an accident, it can affect many functions in the body, as I am just beginning to understand. The type and severity of our symptoms depend on which section of the front lobe is impaired. As my brain is extensively damaged in the frontal lobe area, I struggle with emotions. I have always known that I have, I just never understood why.
As a result of impaired emotions, I also deal with anxiety. That explains why I used to hold on to bad thoughts and have difficulty releasing those. As a child, it would takes weeks, months, even years to let go of them. I used to have to keep myself busy so that my attention was diverted, even if it was for a short while.
Because the cells that control movement to that area of my brain is damaged, I also deal with weakness in my arm, hand, fingers, leg and foot on my Cerebral Palsy side. And as a child, although my difficulties on my left side were down to a paralysis that I didn’t know I had, although I still have a certain amount of paralysis, with continued exercise my leg is slightly stronger. I have little muscle tone and weakened muscles on my Cerebral Palsy side and can’t point my toes.
I also struggle with fine motor skills such as writing and forming outlines on those. Frontal lobe damage has an impact on non-creative thinking, and problem-solving ability and I struggle with both of those. I struggle with spontaneity, memory, language initiation, judgments and impulse control. I have mostly learned to adapt and find ways through most of what I deal with, although I often get caught out on one or most of those.
I know that if this injury were to have happened to me as an adult, my personality and social behaviour would have changed drastically. As a child, I found social situations difficult and as a result didn’t mix in very well, particularly in school. I failed to interact and think that was part of why I became so insular. I have learned a different method for me to cope.
Through my intuition, I am able to read people and understand their body language enough to know how I need to behave and what to say. But more importantly I am able to piece and link together the missing pieces to the jigsaw on my symptoms and how those play out in daily life.